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THE BLOG AT THE CROSSROADS


Comics Unmasked In British Library Book Signings This Saturday!

Posted: August 13, 2014

Come and meet me and ace-co-curator John Harris Dunning, author of the sublimely strange graphic novel Salem Brownstone: Along The Watchtowers, at the Comica Comiket, the free Independent Comics Market, taking over the entrance hall of The British Library all day on Saturday August 16th.

We’ll be signing the last remaining paperback editions of our book to accompany the wildly popular exhibition Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK from high noon to 12.30 in the British Library Bookshop. The hardcover edition has completely sold out and the softcover is specially discounted as the BL’s Book of the Month from £25 to a mere £15. John and I look forward to seeing lots of you there.

And our signing is one of four great half-hour signings held in the Bookshop through the day, starting with Matilda Tristram’s Probably Nothing at 11am, then after us Mark Buckingham of Fables and Dead Boy Detectives fame from 1pm, and finally from 2pm Dutch superstar Jan Cleijne, author of the best-selling Tour de France graphic history, Legends of The Tour.

These great comics artists will be happy to sign and sketch in your copy and personalise it just for you. Don’t miss this opportunity!


Getting Stripped Again at Edinburgh International Book Festival!

Posted: August 11, 2014

Last summer, for its 30th Festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival celebrated with a major focus on comics and graphic novels, under the label Stripped! This year, as the 2014 festival gets underway from August 9th, comics are still being highlighted with guests like Charlie Adlard, Mike Carey, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Katie Green, Mary and Bryan Talbot, Reinhard Kleist, and many more.

One exciting launch will be for the Festival’s very own commissioned graphic novel, a shared future-vision of Scotland thirty years ahead when rising sea levels have transformed the landscape and everyone’s lives. On IDP: 2043 from Freight Books, the writer and graphic novelist Denise Mina edits and contributes alongside an impressive roster of talent including Kate Charlesworth, Will Morris (below), Barroux, Hannah Berry (above) and Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh.

EIBF has kindly invited me back to join co-curator John Harris Dunning for a Stripped 2014 event around The British Library exhibition Comics Unmasked. Under the title ‘Art and Anarchy in the UK’, John and I will be celebrating the tradition of sedition in British comics from their roots in the past to their latest shoots and branches as webcomics and other new forms. This is on Sunday August 24th, 8.30-9.30pm in the Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre and tickets cost £7 or £5 concs. Here’s the whole Stripped 2014 programme… See you there!


Shirley Bellwood - Draw Misty For Me

Posted: August 11, 2014

None of her thousands of avid readers ever knew her name. Her signature never appeared on any of her moody, memorable Misty covers, like this Summer Holiday Special. Worse still, all of her original artwork was casually destroyed by her publishers. But this coming Sunday, August 17th, we can all get a little Misty-eyed when Shirley Bellwood, the brilliant artist behind these illustrations and her very own model, finally gets a bit of the acclaim she so long deserved, Shirley will be making a very special appearance as part of Comica Conversations at The British Library, talking with Pat Mills, legendary creator and editor of the spooky girls’ weekly and one of its principal writers. Joining them will be Dr. Julia Round, co-editor of the academic journal Studies in Comics and a lifelong Misty reader. Book your tickets for this now, it’s one of five Comica Conversations running through the day in the Conference Centre from 11am to 7pm (with breaks for refreshments and signings!).


Matilda Tristram - Probably Nothing, Definitely Something

Posted: August 9, 2014


Coping with either pregnancy or cancer would be enough for most people, but in February 2013, when Matilda Tristram was 18 weeks pregnant with her first child, she was diagnosed with bowel cancer. That month, she began keeping a diary in comics form of her experiences and feelings and made them public online to a growing global readership as Probably Nothing. Read the rest of my profile of Matilda and her brand-new postscript, a two-page comic entitled ‘Definitely Something’, commissioned by ArtReview magazine, here…


Live on Art Beat with Holly & Orla on Soho Radio!

Posted: August 6, 2014

Holly Lander and Orla Bennett run the wonderful cult art emporium Atomica Gallery, recently relocated to fabulous premises at 29 Shorts Gardens in Covent Garden. They’ve kindly invited me onto their Soho Radio show ArtBeat to share our obsessions about comics of course, tomorrow morning Thursday August 7th, from 9am, so do tune and listen live if you can. Otherwise it is re-listenable online here.


Jacques Tardi: Goddamn This War!

Posted: August 4, 2014

On today of all days, the centenary of Britain’s declaration of war against Germany in 1914, Jacques Tardi stands as one of the most insistent and clear voices in modern French comics and graphic novels recording and criticising the horrors of this ‘war to ends all wars’, and of other wars since. To mark this, here is my profile of Tardi from Escape Magazine No. 8 (1987). Let me urge you to seek out his remarkable oeuvre made available in English by Fantagraphics. Read this Article here…


Who’s Taking Part in The Drawing Parade Saturday August 16th?

Posted: August 3, 2014

On Saturday 16th August 2014, a Cavalcade of Crazy Cartoonists will razzle-dazzle us all by drawing live, projected onto big plasma screens in the Comica Drawing Parade, an all-day highlight of the free Comica Comiket from 10.30 to 16.30 at The British Library, King’s Cross, London, introduced by our special guest Bryan Lee O’Malley of Scott Pilgrim and Seconds fame!

Here are our esteemed Guests lining up for the Drawing Parade, in order of performance:

10.30-11.00: Willem Samuel (Mengelmoes from Soaring Penguin Press)

11.00-11.30: Andrew Rae(Moonhead and the Music Machine from Nobrow)

11.30-12.00: Asia Alfasi (Best New Manga from Constable & Robinson)

12.00-12.30: Al Davison (Hokusai Dreams and Muscle Memory from Astral Gypsy)

12.30-1.00: Mark Buckingham (Fables and Dead Boy Detectives from Vertigo)

1.00-1.30: Francesca Dare (Penny Blackfeather from Sloth Publishing)

1.30-2.00: Jan Cleijne (Legends of the Tour from Head of Zeus)

2.00-2.30: Warren Pleece (The Great Unwashed from Escape Books, Alby Figgs from Blank Slate)

2.30-3.00: Jade Sarson (For The Love Of God, Marie!, Winner of the First Graphic Novel award, forthcoming from Myriad)

3.00-3.30: Emmanuel Guibert (The Photographer, Alan’s War and How The World Was from First Second)

3.30-4.00: Ian Williams (The Bad Doctor from Myriad)

Don’t miss these amazing Drawing Paraders drawing live before your very eyes and signing and sketching in their comics for you afterwards!


My Independent Reviews of Seconds, Fatherland & More!

Posted: August 3, 2014

Once more I’ve been lucky enough to write my latest Graphic Novels Round-Up for the Saturday Independent newspaper. Read my reviews here of Seconds, Through The Woods, Fatherland, Probably Nothing, How The World Was, and To End All Wars here…


Kevin O’Neill’s Original Art from League: Century 2009!

Posted: August 3, 2014

2009 is the third part of the Century trilogy, the latest cycle of the The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, now compiled into one hardcover edition by Top Shelf Productions and Knockabout Comics. The climax of this mythic story by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill plunges contemporary London into a surreal and apocalyptic drama. Through an online exhibition, Galerie Champaka is offering for sale the entirety of this last book’s pages, as well as the cover, drawn by Kevin O’Neill. Take a look at scans of his stunning pen-and-ink originals here…


My Final Co-Curator’s Tours for Comics Unmasked!

Posted: July 31, 2014

The hugely popular and acclaimed exhibition Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK closes at The British Library on Tuesday August 19th. I’m giving two more Co-Curator’s Tours, free with your ticket but you must book. The first is next Tuesday August 5th at 6.30pm, and the second is on the closing night itself, August 19th again from 6.30pm. And on this historic last night, co-curator John Harris Dunning will be joining me for a grand finale double-act performance not to be missed. Hope to see some of you there.


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